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Manila Noir by Jessica Hagedorn
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Manila Noir

by Jessica Hagedorn (Editor)

Other authors: Gina Apostol (Contributor), Kajo Baldisimo (Contributor), FH Batacan (Contributor), Rosario Cruz-Lucero (Contributor), Jose Dalisay (Contributor)10 more, Lourd de Veyra (Contributor), Eric Gamalinda (Contributor), Jessica Hagedorn (Contributor), Angelo R. Lacuesta (Contributor), R. Zamora Linmark (Contributor), Sabina Murray (Contributor), Budjette Tan (Contributor), Lysley Tenorio (Contributor), Marianne Villanueva (Contributor), Jonas Vitman (Contributor)

Series: Akashic Books Noir Series

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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A fantastic collection of gritty, noir stories from a variety of authors. Dark, twisted, these stories look at the high and low life of Manila. Before this book, I was not familiar with the city of Manila, but after reading these stories, it seems like a familiar place. I'm hoping to read the collections from other cities. ( )
  bleached | Mar 25, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Every once in a while, I try out a book of short stories, hoping that I will see what those who really enjoy this format do. I was particularly hopeful about this one because I am fond of Manila. Unfortunately, I found the stories generally forgettable, and because they were all "noir," the telling seemed rather one-note with a lack of any nuance.
The two authors that I enjoyed the most from this collection were Rosario Cruz-Lucero and Sabina Murray. I would be interested in reading their novel-length titles.
All in all, Manila Noir is an average collection. ( )
  kcaroth1 | Apr 12, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I don’t read a lot of short stories. I usually go for the meatier fare of a novel. But a good short story can be like a good chocolate – a lot of excellent flavor packed into a small bite. The stories in Manila Noir are more savory treats. Best read one or two at a time. They explore the shadowy side of a difficult society. More descriptive of a country I’ve never seen than any travel guide. After the first story, Lysley Tenorio’s Aviary, I put the book aside for a few days just to come back and appreciate it over again. The authors – Tenorio, Jessica Hagedorn, Sabina Murray, Jonas Vitman, Gina Apostol, among others – are not familiar to me but I look forward to exploring their talents further. ( )
  margitc | Feb 7, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The biggest problem with Manila Noir is that the city just does not shine through. There are a few stories that try to use the city and its uniqueness but even they fall short. And too many of the stories rely on the setting to tell the story instead of telling a good story. Between the two, this is a pretty weak offering from Akashik.

I am used to what Akashic call Noir and the book is similar to their other anthologies in the series. However - I wish that they had found at least one memorable story... A few have good enough potential ("Comforter of the Afflicted" or "Aviary") but none of them really stays with you after you finish reading it... ( )
  AnnieMod | Jan 23, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Noir is defined as "Of or relating to a genre of crime literature featuring tough, cynical characters and bleak settings; Suggestive of danger or violence." Well, these are that. Not so much bleak as bland, however, and in my opinion classing them as "noir" elevates them to a plane they do not deserve to occupy. For the most part, I found these stories uninspired, pointless and instantly forgettable. With a few exceptions, they suffer from a lack of contrast or subtlety. The evil and violence exist in a world without the hint of an alternative, and therefore lose their impact. The collection does include one graphic piece, a horror komic, featuring Alexandra Trese, a character from a popular Phillipine detective series, which may be brilliant for all I know. I am not a visual reader, and graphic fiction leaves me cold. The editor says in her introduction that "All the fabulous and fearless writers gathered here have a deep connection and abiding love for this crazy-making, intoxicating city. There's nothing like it in the world, and they know it." Unfortunately, for this reader who has no other experience of Manila, they have failed to convey any unique atmosphere or sense of place. ( )
1 vote laytonwoman3rd | Aug 8, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hagedorn, JessicaEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Apostol, GinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baldisimo, KajoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Batacan, FHContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cruz-Lucero, RosarioContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dalisay, JoseContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
de Veyra, LourdContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gamalinda, EricContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hagedorn, JessicaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lacuesta, Angelo R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Linmark, R. ZamoraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Murray, SabinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tan, BudjetteContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tenorio, LysleyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Villanueva, MarianneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vitman, JonasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 161775160X, Paperback)

Brand-new stories by: Lourd De Veyra, Gina Apostol, Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo, F.H. Batacan, Jose Dalisay Jr., Eric Gamalinda, Jessica Hagedorn, Angelo Lacuesta, R. Zamora Linmark, Rosario Cruz-Lucero, Sabina Murray, Jonas Vitman, Marianne Villanueva, and Lysley Tenorio.

Manila provides the ideal, torrid setting for an Akashic Noir series volume. It's where the rich rub shoulders with the poor, where five-star hotels coexist with informal settlements, where religious zeal coexists with superstition, and where politics is often synonymous with celebrity and corruption.

From the Introduction by Jessica Hagedorn:

Manila is not for the faint of heart. Built on water and reclaimed land, it’s an intense, congested, teeming megalopolis, the vital core of an urban network of sixteen cities and one municipality collectively known as Metro Manila. Population: over ten million and growing by the minute. Climate: tropical. Which means hot, humid, prone to torrential monsoon rains of biblical proportions.

I think of Manila as the ultimate femme fatale. Complicated and mysterious, with a tainted, painful past. She’s been invaded, plundered, raped, and pillaged, colonized for four hundred years by Spain and fifty years by the US, bombed and pretty much decimated by Japanese and American forces during an epic, month-long battle in 1945.

Yet somehow, and with no thanks to the corrupt politicians, the crime syndicates, and the indifferent rich who rule the roost, Manila bounces back. The people’s ability to endure, adapt, and forgive never ceases to amaze, whether it’s about rebuilding from the latest round of catastrophic flooding, or rebuilding from the ashes of a horrific world war, or the ashes of the brutal, twenty-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos . . .

Many years have passed since the end of the Marcos dictatorship. People are free to write and say what they want, yet nothing is different. The poor are still poor, the rich are still rich, and overseas workers toil in faraway places like Saudi Arabia, Israel, Germany, and Finland. Glaring inequities are a source of dark humor to many Filipinos, but really—just another day in the life . . .

Writers from the Americas and Europe are known for a certain style of noir fiction, but the rest of the world approaches the crime story from a culturally unique perspective. In Manila Noir we find that the genre is flexible enough to incorporate flamboyant emotion and the supernatural, along with the usual elements noir fans have come to expect: moody atmospherics, terse dialogue, sudden violence, mordant humor, a fatalist vision.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:34 -0400)

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